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The Manchester Bee is a regular feature of the street art and graffiti that adorns many of the surfaces across the city. The earliest example I’ve come across was a large scale graffiti wall sponsored by Adidas entitled “Away” which appeared in the Northern Quarter back in 2009. I’ve been unable to track down the artist responsible thus far.

Another early example appeared in 2012, with the stencil designs below found decorating a lamppost in Manchester Way’s underpass and a yellow danger sign in the Northern Quarter. Again the artist is unknown.

In recent years, one of the most prolific portrayers of the bee is Mancsy, who combined the classic “Manchester bee” design with the yellow and black hazard lines of the Hacienda to create his own logo, featured monthly on limited edition screenprints posted around Manchester.

In 2015, he held a poster and mosaic exhibition in Victoria Warehouse (photographs of which are here), along with revealing a multi-storey 20 metre square banner hanging on the end wall of the building, dominating the view over Trafford Road roundabout. After the exhibitions end, the biggest bee in Manchester has made repeated reappearances ever since and is currently on display at the time of writing.

Another artist who’s used the bee in their work is Moderate Realism . His circle of bees (pictured at top of page) appeared on Outhouse MCR in Stevenson Square in 2013, and can still be seen on occasions when it isn’t covered by other designs – the photograph below was taken in October 2016.

Nearby, in Ancoats on the corner of Blossom and Cotton street, the graffiti below by Tenz was on display during 2015 until refurbishment was completed on the buildings interior.

Most recently, since May of this year, graffiti bees by Russ Meehan have been appearing across the city. The bottom piece is part of Cities of Hope – a group street art exhibition in aid of local charities, with pieces appearing across the Northern Quarter and Ancoats.

In the wake of the Manchester bombing, the bee has become a symbol of unity for the city. I’ve written individual posts about the Outhouse MCR – Manchester Bee Celebration and BeeMancuncian, but below are just a few of the pieces I’ve found, with more being added soon.

1 Comment

  1. Babs Allen

    We’re a community garden led by volunteers who have a 40ft container that we would like someone to put some street on.

    If there is anyone out there willing to come along to paint a bee mural on for the 22 victims of the terror attack we would be ecstatic especially as our estate – Hattersley – was originally a Manchester oversupply estate.

    We can’t pay anyone – only for their materials and travel expenses – but we’ll feed and water them. We have an open day on 22 July so it would be great if it could be done by then. Any help appreciated as we are non-artists here!


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